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The Soul-Breaker

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  12,199 ratings  ·  906 reviews
It wasn't murder, it wasn't rape, it wasn't torture; this crime was far, far worse.

Three women go missing without a trace. A week is enough for the psychopath known in the press as the 'The Soul-Breaker' to destroy them. By the seventh day the women are psychologically dead, like bodies without a soul. Shortly before Christmas, The Soul-Breaker strikes again, this time in
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Published August 23rd 2018 by Audible Studios (first published 2008)
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Ebba Simone "The Soul Breaker", translation by John Brownjohn. Expected publication: 1 Sep 2021.…more"The Soul Breaker", translation by John Brownjohn. Expected publication: 1 Sep 2021.
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,199 ratings  ·  906 reviews

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Jul 08, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Mixed feelings about this one really, on the one hand there were parts of it that had me utterly gripped, and then other parts felt a little drawn out and unrealistic, and for all the animal lovers out there, you’ll very likely find some references to animal abuse upsetting.

There’s someone at large, who leaves their victims catatonic, very much a living death, and absolutely terrifying. It’s a clever and atmospheric plot, that takes place within a snow bound psychiatric hospital, and I certainl
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rounded up.

Holy Moly what a start!! Two students are asked by a professor to study the transcripts of The Soul Breaker in order to conduct an experiment. The Soul Breaker leaves victims catatonic, their minds destroyed, all possessing a note which makes little sense and then the perpetrator seems to stop. About three months later a man with amnesia is found in the snow outside the exclusive Teufelsberg Clinic, they name him Caspar. As the weather deteriorates what unfolds is an exceptionall
Jun 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A Professor is offering 200 EUROS to any student who will take part in his experiment. It involves reading the transcripts of an authentic factual account, which reads like a thriller. The original is an old paperback with a greenish cover, and the title “The Soul Breaker” is in red lettering. The shadowy figure of a man hurrying through a snowstorm toward a dark building adorns the cover.

The factual account: The Soul Breaker destroyed three women, by leaving them alive
ατζινάβωτο φέγι.

Jul 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a very confronting opening chapter the story begins in the present day. A Professor of psychiatry is conducting an experiment with some students who will be paid €200 for participating. All they have to do is read a transcript of some actual case notes. Simple yes? No!

The case notes refer to the past, to a diabolical perpetrator referred to as the soul-breaker. Three women had disappeared only to be found some time later, physically unharmed but catatonic - dead inside. They all have piece
Apr 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
After enjoying my first venture into the world of Sebastian Fitzek, I thought that I would return with something equally chilling. Another psychological thriller that appears to have divided the reviewing world quite effectively. A mysterious person kidnaps women and leaves them in a state worse than anyone can imagine, psychologically empty and apparently soulless. Now, in a psychiatric facility, the perpetrator is loose and there are plenty of victims on which to ‘feed’. Souls will be broken, ...more
Stand alone psychological thriller published 2008

4 stars for helping keep my nails short.

First up, this book is the work of German writer Sebastian Fitzek and translated by the late
John Brownjohn.
As with any work that has been translated from its original form we lose something in the process.
Mr. Brownjohn was, by all accounts, a highly revered translator but for all that I found the narrative to be, stilted, is the word that comes to mind.
But that apart this had me on the edge on my seat, not
The Soul Breaker was first published in 2008 in German (as Der Seelenbrecher) and its popularity has since seen it published in several languages and now in English, very ably translated by John Brownjohn. It’s a very dark and gothic thriller set inside a sealed psychological hospital, with the maniac known as the Soul Breaker on the loose.

The Soul Breaker doesn’t kill his victims. He destroys them. Leaving them paralysed and catatonic, reliving their worst nightmares over and over again, in a s
Dec 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I can’t hold it against an author if I was expecting more from a book than it delivered. I should also clarify that opening sentence because I quite enjoyed this book but I had been so looking forward to it and I was so excited to get at it but it just was not a home run. Yet it was a solid read. I was just expecting more of a horror and though I have never read an Agatha Christie mystery this is kind of what I would imagine a Christie mystery to be though admittedly a bit more gory. There ar ...more
Jan 23, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A strange book. It starts with an intriguing atmosphere, then it gets a bit boring, then it gets too hectic and then it ends up slow. All in all I didn't like it. It seems to me the stylistic exercise of an author who wanted to see how much he could pull the string of suspense. In fact, in the central part the events follow one another so tightly that the suspense, instead of growing, decreases, because I began to think that too much is too much and putting a twist on each page, for dozens of pa ...more
As most of you know I tend to write my reviews in German whenever a book is not available in English. For this one I’ll make an exception, just because I’d need to formulate my thoughts in English for the Wheel of Fortune challenge anyway. So enjoy reading about a book you will never be able to read if you’re not fluent in German...

To be honest, I was largely underwhelmed by this. I didn’t expect too much in the first place, but the first 75% of the book just didn’t grab my attention. Watching k
Louise Wilson
Jul 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Three women go missing without trace. A week is enough for a psychopath known in the press as "The Soul-Breaker" to destroy them. By the seventh day the woman are psychologically dead, like bodies without a soul. Shortly before Christmas, The Soul-Breaker strikes again, this time in a exclusive psychiatric clinic. The clinic has been cut off by a snowstorm, and The Soul-Breaker is in their midst. Trapped in the clinic, staff and patients band together to protect each other, but The Soul-Breaker ...more
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
O.W.L. Readathon - Arithmancy
read something outside your favorite genre

Quick summary, because the book is written in german:
A psychiatric clinic cut off from the outside world by a winter storm, disturbing reports about a man who breaks women inside, a protagonist who has lost memories of himself and his past.

This is my second Fitzek thriller, which I also read in one day.
I was excited again from the first to the last second. This time I even guessed 3 out of 5 plots, which suddenly came to min
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr2020
I discovered one of the twists already half way but the end was a complete surprise. The best Fitzek book I have read until now
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm feeling generous, so I'm giving it 2/5. The characters are caricatures that don't evoke any sympathy or feelings of enthusiasm in me, the story is fantastical but begs to be believed, which in the end is impossible. The author thinks that by pointing out the flaws of the story the reader will forgive them. I do not. ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would read anything this man writes. Although I had low expectations for this one, considering some negative reviews I've read about it, it actually really surprised me. All of his books are my thing for SURE! ...more
Ivana Oltovska
Loved it … very good indeed!5 stars :)))
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
The Soul Breaker is Fitzek’s fourth novel and a disturbing yet riveting thriller. A mental hospital, cut off from the outside world by a winter storm, troubling reports about a man who breaks women inside, a protagonist who has lost memory of himself and his past. These are the ingredients of Sebastian Fitzek's gripping new thriller, which is once again not for the faint of heart. Set in a high-class mental hospital on the outskirts of the city, isolated in heavy snow, the nightmare of anxiety a ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Aug 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Head of Zeus for an advance copy of The Soul Breaker, a stand-alone psychological thriller set in a luxurious mental health clinic in Berlin.

The serial killer known as the Soul Breaker claimed three victims, leaving them catatonic and barely alive with a note in their hand, before disappearing. Meanwhile a man, named Caspar by the staff, is found outside an exclusive clinic, hypothermic and suffering from amnesia. As he begins to recover the weather takes a tu
Liz Barnsley
Aug 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Soul Breaker is typical twisty goodness from Sebastian Fitzek, hugely addictive and unpredictable and a right old page turner.

A series of horrific crimes has been occurring and at one mental facility a group of patients and staff are about to be cut off and trapped as a killer stalks the halls...

Claustrophobic and cleverly layered, The Soul Breaker is chilling and creepy...a kind of locked room mystery come psychological drama hybrid. It has a genuinely scary bad guy and reminds you that de
Rowena Hoseason
Sep 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2021
This daft concoction isn’t a clever psychological mystery. It’s a chaotic mishmash of jump-scares and chapter-end cliffhangers, centred on yet another amnesiac (hence unreliable) narrator, barely held together by a storyline full of gaping chasms where logic and plausibility are sacrificed on the altar of the great god Plot Twist.
It’s so ridiculously preposterous that the author is forced to tell the whole story again in the penultimate chapter, just to explain all the absurd events which led to
༒ Thia
Sep 03, 2021 rated it liked it
I really liked the narration & music on this book, made it much more atmospheric & easier to follow than having only one narrator.

The book itself…. Was average. There were parts where I was gripped & other parts where I started to switch off. With a 5 hour round trip to work, it was the perfect length.
Yvonne (Fiction Books)
“It wasn’t murder, it wasn’t rape, it wasn’t torture; this crime was far, far worse”

The real crime about this book, was definitely that I spent so much time sat on the edge of my seat, glued to the pages, that I had a numb bottom and a completely messed up head, by the end! It really is no surprise that I suffer with Nosocomephobia (that’s a fear of hospitals in everyday language) and that’s just as a visitor, mention an appointment and I am like someone demented, which also rather neatly sums u
Ellen Springelkamp
Apr 01, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I’m quite convinced Fitzek is an absolute madman himself. How does he come up with this sh*t!

A totally entertaining rollercoaster of a book set in a shut down mental institution , that made me feel slightly paranoid and tense myself.
Tonino's books
Nov 12, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mind-blowing 🤯
Heshot MeDown
What can I say about Fitzek? That he is one of my favorite writers? That you read his books in one afternoon whether you want it or not?
Let me start with the fact that I did not know that he had published a new book. Imagine the look on my face, when I went to a bookstore to get a textbook for uni and saw this book out of the blue. I was so delighted, that I almost forgot the book.

One of the reasons I really like Fitzek is because I know, without even reading the back cover, that any of his  boo
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Omg, I wasn't expecting that end AT ALL! ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mind = blown
Aug 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs

My gods this book had me gripped right from the start, it’s creepy and weird in all the best ways for a thriller book.

A Professor is offering €200 to any student who is willing to take part in his experiment. It seems like a simple enough experiment, all they have to do is read transcripts of a thriller called “The Soul Breaker”. What they don’t know, however, is that The Soul Breaker ruined three women by leaving them alive but catatonic, they could not even nod their heads or blink, and they
Rajendra Prasad
May 22, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never thought that I would be tricked twice in a brief span by a properly misdirected narrative. There were two instances towards the end that I did not anticipate even after extensive guesswork that ran through my mind while reading. A serial killer locked down in an asylum with an amnesiac protagonist is probably enough to make it interesting. To sum up the experience " I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING!" ...more
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Sebastian Fitzek was born in Berlin in 1971. After going to law school and being promoted to LL.D., he decided against a juridical profession for a creative occupation in the media. After the traineeship at a private radio station he switched to the competition as head of entertainment and became chief editor later on, thereafter becoming an independent executive consultant and format developer fo ...more

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It’s hard to believe the year 2022 is already coming to an end. That went fast, didn’t it? Still, there’s just enough time to wedge in a...
19 likes · 2 comments
“A crisis is said to resemble a sharp fruit knife. It removes the peel and exposes the core: the amorphous, largely instinct-governed primordial state in which morality is dominated by self-preservation” 2 likes
“Caspar felt like a captive beast in a zoo being watched by an insane visitor who has set fire to its cage and is blocking its only means of escape” 1 likes
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